The Hong Kong Rugby Union (HKRU) held the
official draw for the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2018
and the World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series Qualifier 2018 at Hysan
Place in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong on Monday.
Three separate draws were held, including that
for the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2018 – Round Seven of
the ten-event HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2017-18. That
tournament will feature the 15 Series teams plus South Korea,
World Rugby’s nominated 16th team.
The draw for the 12-team World Rugby Sevens
Series Qualifier, which includes the Hong Kong men’s national team
and is played alongside the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series
tournament, was also held, as well as that for the 12-team World
Rugby Women’s Sevens Series Qualifier 2018.
The three tournaments see a total of 40
international sides seeking sevens glory in front of an expected
120,000-strong cumulative crowd over the three-day festival that
is the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, held 6-8 April 2018
marks the 43rd year of Sevens rugby in Hong Kong.
With players from 40 nations and officials,
volunteers and fans from Hong Kong and around the globe, the
Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens is the largest tournament on
the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, confirming the event’s tagline
as the event where the World Comes to Play.
Participating guests officiating Monday’s draws
included Mr Yeung Tak Keung, Sports Commissioner for the Hong Kong
Government and Mr Paul Cheung, Mr Paul Cheng, Principle Assistant
Secretary for Home Affairs (Recreation and Sport); Mr David
Morton, Head of Corporate, Financials and Multinationals Banking,
Asia-Pacific of co-title sponsor HSBC; and Mr Simon Large,
Director Customer of Cathay Pacific Airways, co-title sponsors of
the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens; and Ms Irene Lee,
Chairman of Hysan Development. Mr Pieter Schats, Chairman of the
Hong Kong Rugby Union, also officiated tonight’s proceedings.
Heading into one of the largest and most raucous
events on the entire series, the action to date has been
Five different teams have won the seven events
held so far.
South Africa captured the opening title in Dubai
and have reached the final in Sydney and Hamilton to claim first
place on the table with 109 points, 8 ahead of reigning Series and
Hong Kong champions Fiji, who have won two of the last three
Olympic champions Fiji, now under former Hong
Kong sevens coach Gareth Baber, are heating up ahead of their bid
to become the first team to win four consecutive Hong Kong Sevens
cups in the 43 year history of the event, although the increasing
parity in the global sevens game and a tough draw tonight makes
that a difficult ask.
New Zealand, 11-time champions in Hong Kong, are
in third place on the series with 92 points, ahead of Australia,
who won their home event in Sydney, in fourth place on 84 points
ahead of Argentina in fifth (77 points) and the United States, who
won their home sevens event in Las Vegas earlier this month, on 73
points .to round out the top six spots.
With the addition of the Qualifier, the Hong
Kong Sevens remains the largest men’s tournament on the series,
with 28 men’s teams playing across three days.
This year’s Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens
tournament will feature 77 matches (7 from the final day of the
women’s qualifier and 70 in the men’s competitions) after the Hong
Kong Rugby Union confirmed that for the first time ever, all of
the final-day matches of the Women’s qualifier will be played
inside the Hong Kong Stadium on Friday, 6 April.
Poland will become the 42nd national
representative team to appear in the women’s tournament over its
Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong
Kong Sevens 2018 Draw Results
In the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens
2018, Vancouver champions Fiji top Pool A, alongside New Zealand,
Russia and Samoa. Kenya, runners-up in Vancouver, are the top
seeds in Pool B, joined by Australia, Spain and Canada. South
Africa head up Pool C with England, Scotland and South Korea.
Finally, USA are in Pool D with Argentina, Wales and France.
World Rugby Sevens Series Qualifier Draw Results
The winner of the 12-team World Rugby Sevens
Series Qualifier, featuring teams from each of World Rugby’s six
regions, will earn promotion to next year’s Series, replacing the
bottom-ranked team after the completion of the 2017-18 season.
Russia were promoted from last year’s Qualifier
tournament in Hong Kong after beating Japan in the final.
This year’s Qualifier teams are Zimbabwe and
Uganda (Africa), Jamaica (Americas North), Chile and Uruguay
(Americas South), Hong Kong and Japan (Asia), Georgia, Germany and
Ireland (Europe), and Papua New Guinea and Cook Islands (Oceania).
For the 12-team men’s Qualifier draw, the teams
were banded into four groups of three teams each by World Rugby,
based on their performances on the Series and at other
international sevens events over the preceding two years.
The banded teams were then drawn to complete
Pools E, F and G of the tournament. The Series teams and those in
the Qualifier will not play against each other.
Pool E features Japan, Uganda, Chile and
Georgia. Pool F comprises Papua New Guinea, Germany, home team
Hong Kong and Zimbabwe, while lining up in Pool G are Ireland,
Uruguay, Jamaica and the Cook Islands.
Following tonight’s draw, Hong Kong and former
Wales Sevens coach and player Paul John said, “it’s a tough group.
We went to Germany pre-season and we remember what happened when
we met them in the quarter finals here last year, so we have a lot
of respect for them. Papua New Guinea have a lot of experience,
and Zimbabwe have been on the World Series before.
More broadly, he noted that, “the quality of the
teams is getting higher and higher every year, and it’s up to us
to raise our game and keep up.”
Hong Kong captain Ben Rimene believes the team
are ready for the challenge.
“We were lucky enough to go to Fiji, where we
met some tough New Zealand sides, which was good preparation. The
squad is getting bigger and younger – though some of us are
getting older – and that’s a really good thing for Hong Kong
rugby,” he said at the event.
Twelve teams, including the Hong Kong national
women’s sevens team, will contest the World Rugby Women’s Sevens
Series Qualifier in Hong Kong.
The participating teams were banded into three
groups of four and drawn to complete the three pools (A, B and C).
South Africa top Pool A alongside Kenya, Papua
New Guinea and Mexico. Brazil lead Pool B with Asian neighbours
China, Kazakhstan and Hong Kong, while Wales are joined in Pool C
by Belgium, Argentina and Poland.
David Morton, Head of Corporates, Financials and
Multinationals Banking, Asia-Pacific of HSBC said, “Our
partnership with World Rugby and the Hong Kong Rugby Union is
helping Rugby Sevens thrive in this region and we are proud to be
a part of it. Hong Kong is where it all began for Rugby Sevens and
as the sport has grown to new markets, new audiences, and new
prominence, Hong Kong remains its spiritual home. As we make the draw for the tournament,
it is testament to the growth of Rugby Sevens that there are more
and more nations emerging as contenders for the trophy. Sevens is
making the leap to becoming a truly global game and we are excited
to see what the future holds for this unique and extraordinary
Mr Simon Large, Director of Customer for Cathay
Pacific Airways said, “Cathay Pacific has been a part of this
event since its inception and it is something of which we are
proud to have played a role. We fly in supporters from all over
the globe into Hong Kong and our flights are always a bit more
colourful in sevens week.”
Hong Kong CABLE TV, Official Host Broadcaster
and Official Partner of the 2018 Cathay Pacific/ HSBC Hong Kong
Sevens, will provide the live TV coverage from Hong Kong Stadium
during the tournament, including all matches and key actions on
and off the field. The games will be available on i-CABLE’s
designated website and the i-CABLE mobile app,
providing the most comprehensive multiple-platform broadcasting
Running up to the Hong Kong Sevens, a
four-episode lead-in show “Hong Kong Sevens Special” will go on
air at 10:30pm every Thursday on Channel hd202 (Channel No. 202)
and CABLE Sports Channel (Channel No. 62), starting from 15 March
to 5 April, 2018.
The Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens will be
played from 6-8 April 2018 at the sold-out 40,000-seat Hong Kong
Pictures from 2017 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens,
Pictures from 2016 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong
Pictures of Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2015,
Pictures of the Asia Rugby Sevens Olympic Games Qualifier in Hong
Pictures of Singha Thailand Sevens 2015,
Pictures from the 2013 British & Irish Lions Tour in Hong Kong,
Pictures of Hong Kong Sevens 2014,
Pictures of Hong Kong Sevens 2013,
of Chartis Cup 2012 and
Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2012.